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Man Bait (1952)

The Last Page (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 25 January 1952 (USA)
The married owner of a bookstore is attracted to his sexy blonde clerk. He finally gives in to temptation and makes a pass at her, but that only results in him getting enmeshed in blackmail and murder.


Terence Fisher


Frederick Knott (screenplay), James Hadley Chase (original story)




Complete credited cast:
George Brent ... John Harman
Marguerite Chapman ... Stella Tracy
Raymond Huntley ... Clive Oliver
Peter Reynolds ... Jeffrey Hart
Diana Dors ... Ruby Bruce
Eleanor Summerfield Eleanor Summerfield ... Vi
Meredith Edwards ... Inspector Dale
Harry Fowler ... Joe
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Courtney Hope Courtney Hope ... Bookstore Customer
Sybil Saxon Sybil Saxon ... Bank Clerk (scenes deleted)


John Harman (George Brent), manager of an Oxford Street bookstore, reprimands an attractive young clerk, Ruby Bruce (Diana Dors), for being late to work. The same day Ruby catches Jeff Hart (Peter Reynolds) stealing a rare book, but instead of reporting him she accepts a date with him. That night, before her date, Ruby is working late with Harman, who, in a fleeting moment of intimacy, kisses her. He apologizes but later Jeff forces Ruby to blackmail Harman. When he refuses to pay off, Jeff tells Ruby to write a letter to Harman's wife, which causes her death from a heart attack. Dazed by the tragedy, Harman gives Ruby 400 pounds when she renews her demands. Jeff catches Ruby hiding part of the money, kills her and hides her body in a packing case. Harman discovers Ruby's body and realizing he will be suspect, flees in panic. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Look if you like...but look out! She's Man Bait! See more »


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


First picture of a four-year deal between Hammer Film Productions and Lippert Pictures, owned by Robert L. Lippert, a producer and multiple theater chain owner. Lippert would supply a Hollywood star to attract Amercian audiences to the films. This deal helped with the British film quota in place at the time. Many American films shown in the UK at the time has to have a British film shown as part of a double feature. See more »


Where does Jeffrey Hart get a key to open the case to try and steal a rare book? And, how is the window to the shop left unlocked for Jeffrey to get in? See more »


John Harman: I take it you have an appointment tonight, Miss Bruce.
Ruby Bruce: How did you know?
John Harman: Well, I - you look extremely smart and I can't imagine it being for my benefit.
Ruby Bruce: I'm glad you like it.
See more »


Referenced in Buccaneer Soul (1993) See more »

User Reviews

Dors Knocking
22 May 2016 | by EdgarSTSee all my reviews

A better than average drama written by Frederick Knott, the author of "Dial M for Murder" and "Wait Until Dark", this shows Terence Fisher expertly handling a story of crime, lust and death during his efficient early phase working for Hammer Films, five years before the big success of "The Curse of Frankenstein". Although the main character is John Harman, the mature manager of a London bookstore (played by Irish actor George Brent), two young actors play more appealing characters who are key components of the plot and feature: Diana Dors and Peter Reynolds. A ravishing blonde beauty at 20, Dors had had a dozen of minor screen roles before being introduced in this production as Ruby Bruce, a sexy worker who turns everything around her upside down after she gets mixed up with Jeff Hart, a seductive ex-con played by Reynolds. Under Jeff's influence Ruby blackmails Harman, next a couple of corpses complicate the proceedings, soon Harman is accused of murder and then his secretary (American actress Marguerite Chapman) helps to solve the mystery, putting her life in danger. Peter Reynolds is fine, but he does not have much to do as the villain with sinister charm. It is Diana Dors who has more room for creating a real character. She was a very good actress, and although comparisons were often made with Marilyn Monroe, on the acting level she surpassed her American colleague: here she convincingly mixes naive wickedness with vulnerability, making the film not only the account of Harman's story but the drama of a confused working girl as well.

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Release Date:

25 January 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Man Bait See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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